At the end of last year, Netflix had found a home on 339 million connected devices in the US, which represented a 32% share of the audio-visional hardware landscape, according to a new report.
"Netflix's reach is a testament to the company's unrivalled device strategy," said Merrick Kingston, principal analyst of connected home at IHS Inc. "The service's ubiquity turns Netflix into a de facto rival -- and on occasion complement -- to any other given video offering in the US."
Gone are the days whereby a multi-screen pay-TV service could lay sole claim to a device or platform, according to the report. Instead, pay-TV apps are now virtually guaranteed to take their place next to the Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) app on consumers' end devices.
The latest IHS Technology report also noted that for the first time Chromecast out-shipped Apple TV in the most recent first quarter. With Apple TV starting at $149 compared to Chromecast's cost of $35, it's not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison, but Apple TV shipped 1.7 million units compared to
Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s Chromecast shipping 3.2 million. (IHS didn't provide shipment information for other streaming video devices such as the Amazon Fire Stick or Roku.)
IHS reported that at the end of 2015 there were 8.1 billion connected smartphones, tablets, personal computers, TV-attached devices and audio devices worldwide. Averaged out across the globe, the total number of devices equated to four devices per household.
"The proliferation of media-enabled connected endpoints has implications for media consumption, media production, broadband infrastructure, and the business itself of network management and traffic discrimination," said Kingston. "It drives media consumption, IP traffic and more."
Year-on-year, smartphones account for roughly half a billion new devices to the market. Tablet and OTT set-tops are also growing quickly, but well below the magnitude of smartphone growth. By 2020, the gap is projected to be even wider. Within the forecast period, the smartphone-to-tablet ratio will increase to nearly 10:1, according to the report.
— Mike Robuck, Editor, Telco Transformation